How Outway Socks Achieved 7X ROI with Influencer Affiliate Marketing

Check out their $15 referral offer, affiliate engagement tactics, and other key elements of their winning approach

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

May 15, 2024

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Outway Socks has quickly become a standout brand in the competitive direct-to-consumer (DTC) sock industry. Founded by Rob Fraser with a passion for the outdoors and a commitment to quality, the brand clocked in $10M in revenue by 2023.

The numbers speak for themselves…

Influencer affiliate marketing was a big part of the brand's growth strategy that helped it go from 7-figure to 8 figures in revenue. Outway launched its affiliate program in 2022 to drive growth without burning money on Meta ads. The results showcase the immense potential of leveraging brand advocates and influential partners to fuel growth for a DTC brand👇

So, what strategies did Outway Socks employ to achieve such exceptional success with their affiliate program launch? And how can other DTC brands replicate this kind of performance? Keep reading to find practical tips and insights that could help unlock your brand's next phase of growth.

📣 Promote your affiliate marketing program

Outway has taken a proactive approach to promoting its affiliate program. Rather than simply having a landing page on its website and hoping people will discover it, the brand actively promotes the program through various channels.

One example is a tweet from the brand's founder, Rob Fraser, announcing the launch of the Outway Affiliate Program.

The post does a great job of informing Rob’s followers about the new program and provides key details on how it works, including the 15% discount for friends and the $15 earned per referral.

It didn’t stop there. Rob shared another follow-up post about the program's growth (over 10,000 affiliates signed up!) Using the social proof tactic, the post shows the program's popularity and success — which can help drive even more affiliates to join.

The brand also leveraged its Instagram channel to actively promote the new affiliate program.

The Instagram post provides a clear and concise overview of how the program works, guiding potential affiliates through the steps to create an account, obtain a personalized code, and share it with their network to earn a 15% discount and $15 per referral.

Takeaways for marketers and DTC brand owners:

✅ Outway Socks demonstrates the importance of actively promoting your affiliate program, rather than relying solely on a static landing page. This approach helps to generate awareness and drive sign-ups.

✅  Leverage the founder's accounts to promote the affiliate program. It can help you reach a wider audience and lend credibility to the program.

✅ Share regular updates about the program's growth and success. It will create a sense of FOMO, encouraging more people to join the affiliate network.

🎁 Create a simple-to-understand offer

When running a successful affiliate program, your creator offer can make a lot of difference.

Outway's offer for affiliates was —

"Give 15% off, get $15 cash."

This is unusual because most brands that run successful ambassador programs like Loop earplugs, or Wild deodorant offer a percentage of sales as commission to influencers but Outway is giving a fixed — $15 — incentive.

In a podcast interview, Rob (Outway's founder) highlighted the rationale behind their affiliate program's core offer —

“We came up with ‘Give 15% off, get $15 cash.’ Super simple. The insight there is that a percentage-based reward isn’t that great because you're forcing the consumer to rely on the other person to buy and you have to do math which can get messy… With this offer, you’re [affiliates] going to get $15 no matter what.”

The "$15 no matter what" structure eliminates any ambiguity or confusion, making it easy for affiliates to understand and promote the offer.

For both the brand and the influencer, it is simpler to manage and track compared to calculating various percentage-based rewards.

Influencers offer the 15% discount to their audience by sharing their unique coupon code.

You can create unique coupon codes for influencers to share with their audience easily with tools like SARAL. Try it out without any risk with our 7-day free trial.

While Outway's approach focuses on a straightforward cash incentive, there are other ways to structure your creator offer.

For example, Versus Socks, another sock brand, offers its "Versus Athletes" a range of product-related perks, such as free product drops, personal discount codes, and the opportunity to model for the brand.

Affiliate Program Offer Ideas for DTC Brands

To make their affiliate program more attractive, DTC brands can add the these offer ideas to their influencer programs:

  1. Bonus challenges: Introduce limited-time bonus payouts for affiliates who reach certain milestones, like the highest number of referrals or the largest total sales volume during a promotion.
  2. Recurring commissions: Provide affiliates with a percentage-based commission on repeat purchases made by their referred customers, creating an ongoing revenue stream.
  3. Exclusive product access: Give affiliates early or exclusive access to new product releases, allowing them to be the first to show off and promote the items.

🖼️ Support affiliates with assets, and creatives

Outway's marketing team made it easier for its affiliates to promote the brand during a Black Friday campaign. They created a library of ready-to-use social media content that affiliates can download and customize.


The approach is great for 3 main reasons:

  1. Affiliates' access to pre-designed, on-brand assets helps preserve a cohesive brand identity across social media. This is crucial for strengthening brand recognition and building trust among customers.
  2. Providing ready-to-use content templates and examples makes creating promotional posts easier for Outway's affiliates. This saves the affiliates time and effort, so they will share more content. Visually appealing, engaging posts capture the audience's attention and drive purchases.
  3. It also shows Outway cares about its affiliate partners. Collaborating with affiliates and making their lives easier builds stronger relationships. This can lead to even more effective influencer marketing down the line.

Takeaways for marketers and DTC brand owners:

✅ Follow Outway's lead and create a library of customizable assets, templates, and examples to support your affiliate network. This will simplify the content creation process and ensure brand consistency.

✅ Understand your affiliates' challenges and actively work to remove barriers to their success. Providing support and resources shows that you value them.

✅ Create a spirit of collaboration with your affiliate network. This can lead to more authentic and impactful influencer marketing campaigns that benefit your brand and affiliate partners.

⭐ Celebrate your brand ambassadors

While many brands view their affiliate networks as revenue-generating sales machines, successful DTC brands like Outway take a better approach. By actively engaging with and highlighting their brand ambassadors, they are fostering stronger, more authentic relationships that benefit both parties.

Take the example of this tweet (image below) by Rob Fraser, in which he reshared an affiliate's post, adding praise for their creativity.

This type of active engagement from a brand's founder or even the dedicated brand social media accounts is a powerful way to nurture strong relationships with influencers and affiliates. It demonstrates that the brand sees them as creators, and true brand advocates and not just as sales machines.

Many other sock brands are taking a similar approach to engaging with and uplifting their affiliate network. For example, Elizabeth Reid Socks, re-shared a post by one of her ambassadors and tagged them.

On The Breatsbox website, there is a dedicated "Brand Ambassadors" page that highlights several of their key affiliates and influencers. This is a strategic tactic that goes beyond just featuring products or discount codes.

For each profile, they highlight the ambassador's "Favorite Style" and how they are connected to the brand. This reinforces their value as brand advocates. The descriptions position the ambassadors as knowledgeable authorities, using titles like "Founder" and "Talented Videographer." This lends credibility to their recommendations.

The overall effect is that The Breatsbox Brand Ambassador page transforms these affiliates from anonymous sales channels into real people that readers can relate to and be inspired by. It's an exemplary way to showcase the brand's network of passionate advocates.

Takeaways for DTC Brands:

✅ Encourage founders/executives to directly engage with and celebrate affiliate/influencer content.

✅ Dedicate a prominent space on your website to feature your brand ambassadors.

✅ Highlight your affiliates' unique stories, expertise, and social presence.

✅ Position your ambassadors as trusted authorities, not just promoters.

By empowering and celebrating your affiliate network in this way, you can foster deeper connections and long-term loyalty for your ambassadors and customers.

💹 Do you want to grow your brand with affiliate marketing?

Our first suggestion is — stop juggling between Google Sheets and manual methods to run your influencer marketing efforts.

Sure, those seem cost-effective in the short term. But the real cost is in the revenue and opportunities you're leaving on the table by trying to do everything yourself.

It's time to invest in real tools designed to maximize your influencer impact. Platforms like SARAL can simplify the entire process of discovering, vetting, and collaborating with a steady stream of influential creators. Why waste countless hours juggling spreadsheets when you could automate and streamline your entire workflow?

Try SARAL for free for 7 days. See how efficiency it brings to your workflow, freeing up your time and energy to focus on other aspects of your business.

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